Thanksgiving in Michigan is full of visits to the cider mill, enjoying the changing colors of the leaves and college football. It is a time when we give thanks for our friends, family, our health and our opportunities. This year, I am thankful to be spending a year exploring the world and learning about myself as an Israel Teaching Fellow. I am teaching English in Migdal HaEmek, a city located in Detroit’s Partnership Region, the Central Galilee.

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While it was difficult to be so far away from home, I was fortunate enough to attend the 6th Annual Detroiters in Israel Thanksgiving dinner. It was held at the new Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv. On the menu was all of the staples of a Thanksgiving dinner: a turkey, mashed and sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing and cranberry sauce. In attendance were 40 young adults, both American and Israeli. Some of the native Detroiters are here on volunteer or educational opportunities while others have made Aliyah and now live in Israel permanently. Everybody enjoyed an evening full of good food and even better company.

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This was my first Thanksgiving not in the United States surrounded by my immediate family. This dinner and the entire Detroiters in Israel group means a lot to me because it helps make Israel feel even more like my home. Knowing that there are other young adult Detroiters from the area helps me know that I am not alone here and that I have a community of support. I am so grateful for the staff that work so hard not only on the Thanksgiving dinner but also to support the Metro Detroiters who live in Israel. They are such a valuable resource and have truly enhanced my experience here in Israel.

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